Tracking My Reading

Goodreads makes it extremely easy to track one’s reading. But it’s mostly just titles and ratings. Sure you can do a little more, but I go above and beyond on my own. I have a spreadsheet for my reading. I track all kinds of things:

  • Author
  • Series
  • Reading time
  • Page count
  • How long it was on my TBR pile
  • Rating
  • Ranking for the year
  • Ranking all-time

I guess it seems like way more in the document, but that’s still a lot! I didn’t even realize it until I opened an old document and saw everything.

What do you track for your reading!?

New Page For My All-Time Top Reads!

When I wrote recently about a book that somehow managed to become one of my personal top 5 reads ever, I came up with the idea to create a page here to keep an up-to-the-minute list of the best books I’ve ever read. It took me a bit longer to figure out exactly how I wanted to do it, but I ultimately settled on a list of the top 15 books I’ve started and finished. When I look at my list there are a couple of things that surprise me. 1) How far down Harper Lee’s masterpiece is (she’s barely hanging on for a spot!) and 2) Michael Connelly DOES NOT WRITE METIOCRE BOOKS.

I thought of just sharing the list in this post, but the page has links to everything I said about some of those books immediately after I read them. Now go and take a look for yourself and tell me what you think! Or, tell me some of the best books you’ve read? Maybe we have some in common!

Punch Me In The Face

Guys, early this morning I finished my sixth book of the year. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I have so many thoughts on it I’m making it my next video. But that’ll be for later. I have to talk about something else.

This was my sixth book of 2019, yes. But it was really my sixth in less than three weeks. I’ve already surpassed my entire 2018 of reading. In three weeks. I’m proud of that. Very much so. But there’s more.

I wrote just a few weeks ago about some of my personal struggles I haven’t been able to get over. Some of the feelings I just can’t quite kick. And guess what? Now that I’m reading a bit I’m feeling so much better and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I’m foolish for not realizing it sooner.

I have two literary tattoos. I own something like 250 books. I have this. My YouTube channel. My IG. All about books. And I know y’all know about all of these things, but what I’ve somehow forgotten is just how happy books make me. Not going out on the weekends or any of the “typical” things people my age are supposed to do, but books. Sure I love traveling and playing Xbox and even hanging out with friends, but books make me, me. And I absolutely love that.

January Reading Roundup

Y’all!

Earlier this year I made it clear how disappointed I was in my reading last year. 5 books. Just saying that makes me want to hit my head on my desk. But 2019 is off to a better start! So I decided to do a little roundup of my January reading.

Two Kinds of Truth

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Harry Bosch ages in real time. In this book he’s into his 60s, but I DON’T CARE. Never stop writing him, Michael Connelly. Or we’re fighting.

Crimson Joy

⭐⭐⭐

I hate to say it, but this was rather unremarkable. I love Spenser. And this won’t discourage me from continuing the series, but I finished the book wanting more.

LA Requiem

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I wrote about this earlier in the week here. This book was the best crime novel I’ve read! There’s no exaggeration. I gave my reasoning in my previous post. I’m still considering it, but it’s likely a top five all-time read for me. And I have the next four in the series awaiting my curious eyes.

Rodrick Rules

⭐⭐⭐

I said I’d stay with crime novels for a bit, and I mostly did. But this was the lone exception last month. It didn’t have hardly any laugh out loud moments, whereas the first in the series was full of them.

The Second Life of Nick Mason

⭐⭐⭐

This was the first in a new series written by Steve Hamilton. He’s also one of my favorite authors and it was my first time reading one of his books in several years. It’s well below 300 pages and I felt it. It went way too fast and lacked much depth throughout. But still had a number of exciting moments, which kept it at the above rating.

I count 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 books for the month! It was really in the last two weeks, but shh. I matched my entire 2018 in the first month of 2019 and I’m still going! I know there will be some down months ahead, but I’m happy with and encouraged by my start to the year.

How was your month of reading!?

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!

I sincerely hope you’re aware of the meme that I’m referencing. If not, you’re lost. Oh well.

Very rarely do I write anything that resembles a book review. Today is one of those rare days.

Yesterday I finished LA Requiem by Robert Crais. I’m not going to get into the plot very much because if you find this interesting I would love for you to give the book a chance rather than just read spoilers here.

The story follows PIs Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. A friend and former lover of Joe is missing and they’re tasked with finding her when the police find her body first. Her father has powerful connections and the two of them get to operate within the investigation while unaffiliated with the LAPD.

That’s my synopsis, which is fairly similar to what you’d find on the back of the book.

I want to tell you about the title of the post before anything else. I’ve read more crime novels than I can remember. This one was the absolute best one I’ve read, and now that I’m thinking about it I may upload a page on here of my top reads ever that I can update as time goes along. This is likely top 5 for me. Let me tell you why.

Joe and Elvis have known each other a long time. Both are former military. Joe was LAPD for a time. They’re not friends and they’re not family. Whatever comes above that is what they are. Their care for each other goes beyond words and actions. This is the first in the series (since book 1) that highlights their relationship. Think of the people in your life who you would do anything for. Maybe there are quite a few and maybe there are none, but at least the idea of it is there. That’s Elvis and Joe. The importance of those relationships and people in our lives is something we generally can’t describe or put into words because we know deep within ourselves that we’d put ourselves in harm’s way to protect who we hold so dear, even if we can’t explain why.

During the course of the story Joe is in some serious trouble, and Elvis makes it his mission to protect him at all costs, including putting his life on the line if he has to. This exaggerated plot line happens quite a bit in movies, on TV shows, and in books. But never in my 27 years has it been so well done. Elvis and Joe are fictional characters created by who I believe is an exceptional author. But they’re not. They’re every single one of us.

This book wasn’t about solving a murder. It wasn’t about what happens when someone has connections. It wasn’t even about the detectives involved. It’s about what it means to be human and to put everything on the line for who we love. And though most of us will never have to do it, I believe it’s something we can all related to.

This was my tweet immediately after I finished.

I Understand It Now

Y’all! I just realized something and it’s life changing!

The books that got me hooked on reading were mysteries. PIs. Homicide detectives. Murder mysteries solved by the ex cop who left the department under a cloud. You know what I’m talking about. And back in the first couple of years after high school when I was reading the most, I was reading mysteries exclusively. No young adult. No literary fiction. No classics. No nonfiction. I was reading what I enjoyed reading the most.

Then I tried branching out. Tried to become more “well read”, whatever the hell that means. And I hit a wall. I’ve been clawing at it now for several years. When I was in college I wouldn’t read textbooks or review notes. Every break I had I’d pull out my current novel on campus and read! Not sure how you are, but usually after I read I want a nap. Fell asleep numerous times in class because I wasn’t about to talk about Alexander the Great’s empire right after reading about the unsolved murder of a kid buried in the hillside. Like, priorities!

Call me stupid or crazy or just not “well read”, but I’m going back to what made me love books to begin with. I have plenty of non mystery books to pick from when I feel the time is right, but it isn’t right now. I’m currently reading my third detective novel in a row. Not stopping even if I have to buy more.

PS: I have a rule to not read any author twice within any 5 books, but I think I’m breaking it.

Some Randomness About Moi

Today is Saturday and sometimes I just don’t feel like wasting what I think are great ideas for posts on weekends. Even though other times I try writing posts that I anticipate many people will at least read because of the topic. So in reality, this is me being a little lazy. Hehe.

Anyway, last year sometime I wrote some awards posts and at least once published a post of random facts. Well today I wanted to do that again because we’re all friends here, right? *crickets* I guess I’ll start listing them before you run away from me.

1. I have crazy dreams. I’m not kidding. I’ve been the writer for a dinosaur movie. I’ve met Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve played baseball in front of thousands of people in an open field in the middle of nowhere. (did I experience Field of Dreams?) Oh, and I’ve also been chased by an old lady with an ax who was definitely out for blood. And I’ve also dreamed about meeting other bloggers, but I can’t say who because I may or may not have already told them and what if they think I’m crazy and get scared? Nah. Not dealing with that.

2. I suffered two injuries last year as a result of my training. I’ll now likely forever have two bad wrists and a bad shoulder. But I wouldn’t change anything after that 365 pound bench! I also have a bad back that randomly acts up after months of being okay.

3. I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones. I know people are obsessed with the whole series, but I’ve never felt the need to join them. I highly doubt I’d be interested in the TV series, slightly more likely I’d be interested in the books. Slightly.

4. I might have a need to be famous. I think if people got a taste of the real me that I’d have more friends and people to interact with on a regular basis. My goal in life is to become Vine famous. Or on YouTube. Or WordPress? Seriously, no blogger has any idea what I’m like in person and that’s no good. Honestly, I imagine that many of you would want nothing less than to never meet me. BUT I know several of you would be great acquaintances. I’m imagining a meet up in which we meet in a sports bar (no need to be formal) and we end up having a small crowd of people around us cause we’re so damn interesting. And I’d be the only guy in there who knows anything about the sporting event taking place at the time.

5. I love Twitter. It’s the only social media site I really use besides this. I have Snapchat and occasionally use it, but the people I’ve added on there are just not interesting. I originally started using my Twitter account once I finished writing my book, but now I do not ever tweet about books. Okay, very rarely. My book stuff can stay on WordPress. I’d tell you to follow me over there, but I”m telling you now that I won’t follow you back if all you tweet is #amwriting or #amreading or something similar. I have no interest in that stuff. I mostly tweet about sports because they’re way more important to me than books. Find me here.

That’s it! One day I’ll do an Ask me Anything post and see what kinds of questions people might want to ask, but that isn’t today. So what do you think of my randomness? Maybe you’ve had some crazy dreams too? Or maybe you’re interested in my Twitter rants? Or better yet, you want to come down to Texas and buy me food?

If you comment, then I want you to tell me a random fact about yourself. I won’t reply if you don’t. Ha!


On this day in 2014 I published Are Bookmarks Dead?. The most popular post in the history of this blog. By far. And chances are you’ve already read it. It still usually gets a Like or a comment each day and I remember writing it just to get the idea out of the way because I thought it was stupid. I guess the only stupid one around here is me. So take a look if you haven’t already!